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Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) - Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)

Not Rated.
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,607 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,607
Reviews: 1,610
rAvg: 4.61
pDev: 8.89%
Wants: 2,850
Gots: 1,313 | FT: 101
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) visit their website

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
(Yellow Cap)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,607 | Reviews: 1,610 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Casey10


4.78/5  rDev +3.7%

Had this for my 50th review on Ba quite excited to finally try this.

A - Dark amber color tan wispy head.

S - grape, fig, spices

T - This is were it gets good very nice tastes of grape cherry, spices gets even better as it warms up a bit. Very complex.

M - smooth and warm leaves a lasting taste that stays with you.

D - Very good could drink a bunch but wouldn't want to over due it either.

08-01-2009 01:31:34 | More by Casey10
Photo of coldmeat23


4.13/5  rDev -10.4%

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
DATE ON CAP: 19.03.11

Pours up a very dark, almost opaque, golden brown. Slightly more than a fingers worth of light tan colored foam makes the head. It recedes to a foamy film that sits on the surface throughout the rest of the glass. Lacing is in slightly thick ropes and is quite clingy.

Oh, man, it does smell wonderful. Like a huge basket full of dark fruits at varying degrees of ripeness. This creates an almost wine-like scent. Bold hints of candi sugars. Subtle malty presence. Cherries, grapes, figs and pomegranates....it smells almost candy-like. As it warms a touch of nice yeastiness comes out.

Wow, this alot drier than the nose foretold. It's not totally dry, to be honest. It has a nice level of sweetness on the tongue, but is really dry around the edges. Candi sugars and malts are fairly subdued, here. A bit of yeasty bread smothered in a dark fruit jam.
Maybe I need to try one that's been aged for awhile, but I'm not really ecstatic about this one. I expected a little more complexity and seperation of flavors. It's actually fairly subdued and the flavors are all blended together.

The body is on the lower end of the 'full' side of the spectrum. Carbonation is very well done. Silky smooth and a touch creamy. Very nice.

This is totally a highly drinkable brew, but, honestly, if I'm going to drink a Quad, which I often do, I'd probably reach for a different one than this, first.

07-28-2009 19:51:17 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of kappldav123


4.2/5  rDev -8.9%

Finally I have this legendary beer in my glass. The bottle looks really good, no label - which brewery can do that? Dark in the glass, almost black, nice head. Starts strong and malty, modest sweetness. Notes of wood and a bit liquorice. Not as strong as exspected, very drinkable for its strength. Warming finish. Really great beer!

07-28-2009 05:31:45 | More by kappldav123
Photo of jjanega08


4.72/5  rDev +2.4%

A=pours an amazing brown color with a thin miniscule head that dissapaits quickly to nothing.
S= sweet grapes all around reminicent of wine deep dark fruits are present with a slight tart note. Very little alcohol but some is present.not as flavorful as anticipaited but the flavors blend beautiful. Pretty bready and buttery with flavors of plums and prunes. Really great grape notes are in it. Smooth in every way.
M= the best part of the beer. Super smooth and delicious. Amazing.
D= awesome. The most amaing thing I've tasted in a long time.

07-26-2009 03:32:55 | More by jjanega08
Photo of dwaz


5/5  rDev +8.5%

Brought back a couple of bottles from Brussels last summer and aged for a little over ayear. Pours a nice brown with white head and smells of sweet malts. Carbonation is just right and allows for excellent drinability. Just has a crazy mild sweetnees that hides the high alcohol content - yes it tastes a little like grape soda at some points. Overall, not necessarily the best beer I've ever had, but probably the most balanced with such a high alcohol content.

07-24-2009 03:55:21 | More by dwaz
Photo of jgasparine


4.72/5  rDev +2.4%

3/20/2010 Review @ In De Vrede

A- Poured from the bottle into a Wesvleteren chalice with a good 1" of rocky khaki colored foam, and some lovely lacing observed along the glass. The body is a turbid garnet-tinged brown. No visible carbonation, but that may have something to do with the opacity. Looked gorgeous. (4.5)

S- Initial impressions are rich candy and roasted malts, some Belgian yeast aromatics, some candi sugar, as well as some faint stale hops. As the beer warms up, much more of those fruity esters- rich complex aromas of chocolate, cherry, dried dark fruit, and leather begin to emerge on the nose. (4.5)

T- This was a rollercoaster in the mouth. Initially, when served cool, the taste was comprised of extremely rich flavors of caramel and roasted malts, candi sugar, some stale hops and some fruity esters. The finish lingers wonderfully with esters. As the beer warmed, the malts were perceived as more bready, and the sweet fruity esters emerged as well (chocolate, cherry, dried fruit, and leather). The warmer beer peaked in the mouth with increased candi sugar, some faint hop bitterness and just a *touch* of booziness, which was non-offensive, simply warming and pleasant. More perceived caramel, chocolate and molasses emerged in the middle as well, and now the finish lingers with malt and just a touch of hop bitterness. Amazing how the beer continually evolved throughout the drink. (5.0)

M- A medium to full body. Not a ton of texture there. Some unattenuated sugar. The carbonation is not as soft as I would have liked, but it's not quite bloating. As the beer warmed, the carbonation began to soften and create for a creamier mouthfeel, which was just wonderful (4.5)

D- The alcohol is very well hidden throughout the drink. So smooth and creamy, the aromas and flavors are incredible. This is dangerously drinkable. (4.5)


7/20/2009 Review

A- Pours an opaque dark brown; medium head with some nice lacing. (4.5)

S- Raisins, figs, dates co-mingle with candy sugar and yeast in the nose. (4.5)

T- The dark fruit now seems to meld with some dark chocolate notes, and a slightly warming alcohol burn. Finishes slightly yeasty and metallic, but in a non-offensive way. Just a lot going on here. All good stuff. (4.5)

M- Creamy full body that coats the mouth, allows for extended enjoyment after each sip. (5)

D- Exceptionally drinkable given the ABV. Could have 3 or 4 of these in a sitting if I were so lucky. (4.5)

07-20-2009 22:58:48 | More by jgasparine
Photo of pepsican


2.95/5  rDev -36%

Pours dark brown head. Lots going on in the aroma. Dark fruits, sherry, candy, quite a bit going on here. Flavor is very complex, fruit, funk, alcohol, caramel, chocolate. Finishes highly carbonated, but doesn't get in the way of the beer. I could still use less carbonation on this one. Light alcohol notes which melded well with the beer without taking away from the flavors. Overall I can see why people would enjoy this if big boozy belgians are your thing. I personally don't have the want to drink this more than once a year at most.

07-16-2009 23:20:27 | More by pepsican
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.88/5  rDev +5.9%

Westvlyteren 12 pours a deep hazy dark brown to ruby body with plenty of yeast floating about. The aromas are just about everything I have ever smelled in a beer. Spices of clove, cinnamon, banana, dark fruit, sweet maltiness, cocoa, bubblegum. Complex as hell. The flavor was nothing but superb with dark fruit, spice, and enough bittering. The mouthfeel is full bodied with ample carbonation. I was skeptical about this beer and usually do not like darker Belgians, but this blew me away. Yes, it is worthy of the hype and praise it gets unlike many rare hyped American beers.

Thanks to atsprings for splitting this bottle.

07-13-2009 18:37:22 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.93/5  rDev +6.9%

Many thanks to afatty for the in-person trade. Poured into a Corsendonk tulip a hazy, murky brown with a nice light tan head that lasts as a thin layer that leaves slight lacing on the glass. The aroma is an incredible blend of sweet fruits, brown sugar, clove, spices and numerous other aromas that just add up to spectacular. The taste is more of the same, just about everything you look for in a beer all melded perfectly into one. The beer is medium bodied with decent alcohol presence, but with a taste that good, you barely notice. This one certainly lives up to the hype, and thanks to afatty's generosity, I look forward to trying it again!

07-13-2009 01:51:31 | More by atsprings
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

Bottle into chalice. Massive (and very heartfelt) thanks to Dev (Buckeyesox) for including this as an extra, alongside other equally amazing extras in the middle of a trade that was awesome in and of itself. Drinking with my wife to celebrate the birth of our first daughter a week ago - her first beer since birth. Edit: Dev passed away a week after this review. I'll always remember drinking this beer in celebration of the new life that came into our family, so soon before Dev passed on. A great loss to the BA community. You will be missed, Dev.

Pours dark, cola-brown, very lightly hazy, with a very thin off-white head. This one is a bit disappointing, but I have no idea what year this is, and honestly, I'm not going to care if it tastes the way I hope it will.

Nose is fantastic as expected. Notes of dark fruit and mollasses, toffee and brown sugar, spicy yeast and even a bit of earthy anise. Some phenols give a light spicy complexity that combines with just a hint of alcohol. Beautiful.

Taste is more of the delicious same - malt driven and fruity, with a dark malty sweetness that pulls out raisins and dried candied plums, molasses and brown sugar, with a spicy phenol presence and just a bit of alcohol underneath livening things up. There's a candy, "sugar in the raw" note in there as well, some toffee, and a very light, earthy bitterness leading into a finish that I can only describe as perfect - bready, dark fruits, rich dark brown sugar that's just a bit caramelized. Perfect combination of dryness and malt sweetness. Phenomenal.

Mouthfeel is very nice but not flawless - sharp but sparse and not overbearing in the slightest, with a body that is light but full somehow. Taste lingers steadfastly after every swallow and is sublime.

Drinkability is really perfect. Alcohol is there but not at all overbearing, flavor is unbelievably complex but balanced and even the mouthfeel tends towards emphasizing drinkability.

What it all comes down to is that every time you pick out a flavor with this one, there's a subtlety and clarity to it that is just striking. Everything just rings true with every aspect of it. I'm humbled to be drinking this thanks to the generosity of a man I feel truly blessed to have met through this website, which only adds to the depth of quality I suppose. Lives up to the hype.

07-12-2009 22:05:31 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

4.22/5  rDev -8.5%

Bottle at PPRBSG09. Pours a dark murky brown with a thick white head. Aroma is very fruity--lots of dark fruits (plum, apple, and fig) plus some honey. Flavor is nice and fruity, with yeast notes and a rich malt base. The palate sort of had a pulp-like quality to me. Very nice and delicious! I can't wait to try this again.

07-11-2009 17:20:58 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of jrallen34


4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

I drank this in Brussels.

The beer pours dark brown, murky quad color, light tan head with good retention and lacing...The aroma is nice full of dark fruits, figs, caramel, slight alcohol, sugar. Taste is much of the same, great feel and easy to drink.

This is a great beer, but I believe just a notch below Rochefort 10.

07-11-2009 15:38:24 | More by jrallen34
Photo of alcstradamus


4.95/5  rDev +7.4%

A--Popped the cap and this one was a gusher, I probably should have let it settle for longer since it just arrived via FedEx 2 hours ago. Luckily it was a slow gusher and I only lost probably a half-ounce of beer total. Very dark brown in color with a full finger of camping head. Some nice sheets of lacing are left behind in my Dogfish Head signature glass

S--Plums, raisins, wood, orange peel, alcohol burn, apples, band aid, leather. You really have to let this one marinate because there is a new surprise around every corner

T--Behold, the famed Westy 12. Now I "get" it. I always wondered how a beer that people claimed was so unique could be so universally acclaimed. After all, one-of-a-kind flavor often can be polarizing. So where was the negative backlash? One sip and it all becomes clear. There is absolutely nothing offensive about this beer. How could anyone possibly NOT like this? I can't say whether this is the best beer I've ever had, because comparing it to other styles is difficult. But without question, this is the best Quad/BSDA I've ever had (and I've had all of the top rated ones). I'm not going to go into all the flavors, there are plenty of reviews for that. Just know that this is one smooth, complex, tasty mother of a beer

M--Full bodied and creamy with a slight carbonation sting

D--I really feel ashamed to be chugging this like I am. I can't help it. This is spectacular. This and HOTD Adam are the two most drinkable +10% ABV beers I have ever had. All around this beer is amazing, mind blowing, unbelievable. The hype is real. I need more. I will get more. I must get more.

07-10-2009 15:45:42 | More by alcstradamus
Photo of scottyshades


4.55/5  rDev -1.3%

Thanks to Stonequarrywest for the bottle!

A: Pours a rich deep mohagany color that produces a fizzly white head that retains well and leaves nice lacing along the glass. Little brown spots appear in the head over time.

S: Champagne yeast, alcohol, dark fruits (figs/plums/pears/dates/cherries), candy, bubblegum, malts. Very complex...I can only imagine the care and technique that it takes to craft this brew.

T: Soooo good. Dark fruits are nice and sweet while the bitterness is perfectly balanced. Malts are hugee in this brew.

MF/D: Very chew brew for its style (although not as chewy as I have heard). Superbly smooth, finishes clean and velvety.

To be honest, I was expecting more, but still a ridiculous brew

This brew was born in November of 2008 which makes it only half a year old. I must say that I got a little anxious to try this one. Still have one more that I plan on aging for a long while.

07-09-2009 01:22:31 | More by scottyshades
Photo of mugglesandhops


4.8/5  rDev +4.1%

Davey shared this bottle with me when we drank my Westy 8. Poured into goblet a still, murky, yeasty, brown with no head. Smelled of dark fruit, brandy. Taste of dark fruit as well, raisin, cherry, fig, a little warm, in the finish. This was pretty fizzy in the mouth which surprised me as it didn't look very carbonated when I poured it. Amazing beer and I'm glad I was able to sample this.

07-07-2009 18:24:05 | More by mugglesandhops
Photo of ricke


4.7/5  rDev +2%

A: A deep reddish brown color, nearly opaque. A nice looking beige head of about 3 cm with good retention leaves plenty of lacings.

S: A deep and rich smell. Plenty of fruity aromas (cherries, plums, overripe strawberries), raisins, wet wood. The malty backbone is thick and "dark" and is accompanied by a prominent spicy aroma. A hint of yeast. The alcohol is noticeable, but very integrated with the rest of the aromas. A great smell.

T: The taste is nothing but fantastic. A noble and rich malty backbone and semi-sweet cherries converge with a prominent, but not very strong, taste of alcohol. At this point, the beer is quite reminiscent of a fine liqueur. Hints of chocolate and coffee. Raisins adds another sweet component. Earthy yeast and spices balance the massive sweetness. Faint nutty aromas, and perhaps just a minimal hint of tartness. In the finish, the alcohol is very noticeable and has a sweet and warming character. But the alcohol is very well integrated and suits the beer nicely. The finish is slightly bitter with notes of spices, iron and grass.

M: Full-bodied with a velvety smooth texture. The rather high level of carbonation is well suited for the overall character.

D: What to say about this legendary brew? Well, I think it's almost as good as it's reputation say it is. It's just unbelievably tasty with an impressive complex character. This one comes really close to perfection.

07-06-2009 13:52:18 | More by ricke
Photo of johnd513


4.88/5  rDev +5.9%

Big thanks goes to slater1313 for including this as an extra!
Cap reads 02 07 11
Smells of bourbon, raisins, dark fruits, honey, candi sugar and a phenol character. Tastes of fruit, honey and dark malts. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, tingles the tongue and finishes smooth. The sweetness, carbonation and alcohol warming character of this beer mend together perfectly. Drinkability is exceptional, I could enjoy this all night.

06-30-2009 15:59:26 | More by johnd513
Photo of EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a dark chestnut brown, with a clumpy and thick head. Great lacing.

There are a few aspects to the aroma of this beer. Dark, dried fruits; raisins, prunes, even dried apricot. Chocolate, coffee, and sweet toffee and caramel. Burnt toast.

Taste begins on a fruity note. Apricots, plums, prunes, raisins. Slightly bitter chololate on the sides of the palate. Alcohol is not well hidden. The roasted malt is not overly sweet, and the finish is not completely dry.

Medium bodied, with a soft carbonation

06-21-2009 01:01:16 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of Nick3


4.25/5  rDev -7.8%

Bottle reads a date on the cap of 19 11 11. Beer poured into my Westvleteren goblet is rich dark brown in color. No head or lacing to speak of has me a bit worried given this beer's rich tradition. Nose is wonderful and complex. Notes of candi sugar, dark fruit, anise and caramel. Taste is complex as well and nearly as great as the boquet. Amazing synthesis of flavors. Mouthfeel is too thin and the beer lacked enough carbonation. Alcohol was there but overwhelmed by the amazing flavor. A great beer but I would like to have one with a bit more carbonation.

06-17-2009 04:55:03 | More by Nick3
Photo of wheatman106

New York

4.7/5  rDev +2%

Reviewed with the help of capra12 and Jimmy

Poured into a snifter

A: Poured a slightly cloudy, rich brown color like dark brown sugar. Formed about a 1.5 finger head, very tight with small bubbles, ivory in color. Moderate retention and left a nice, even lacing.

S: Most of the noticeable notes were very balanced, none overly pronounced compared to the others. Included were slight notes of alcohol, rich berries, and faint notes of molasses and pear. Again, no one aroma overpowered the others.

T: From the opening through the finished, there exists a very complex blend of flavors. It is an extremely balanced combination of alcohol, berries, and dark malts, with mild to medium levels of carbonation. The moderate finish trails off evenly leaving a slightly sweet and alcoholic aftertaste.

M: Full-bodied, but not too heavy.

D: For a quadrupel, drinkability is very good, as the alcohol taste and weight of the beer are not obnoxious.

Myself, capra12, and Jimmy were in agreement that we simply cannot wait to enjoy this beer again.

06-17-2009 02:06:43 | More by wheatman106
Photo of swirldog


4.58/5  rDev -0.7%

Had this classic a couple of years ago at a homebrew meeting. A one of a kind very rare thing to get a hold of.
Deep mahogany appearance, strong brown head with excellent lace.
Nose is fruity with strong malt with chocolate notes, hops are low.
Flavor is malt upfront with raisiny/fruity esters. Chocolate flavors predominate in the middle. Hops are very low, bit in the finish.
Mouthfeel is chewy with nice creaminess and carbonation.
Drinkibility is good, a beer for a cold nite.
A classic that I would love to have again.

06-15-2009 15:37:00 | More by swirldog
Photo of NorCalYeti


3.48/5  rDev -24.5%

color- brown

taste- bourbon, toast, chocolate

aroma- floral, chocolate

appearance- opaque, suspended sediment

i bought this bottle in 2003 so it had some time on it, i was let down with this beer...could have been a variety of reasons...maybe held onto it too long. i would give it another try.

06-13-2009 20:18:18 | More by NorCalYeti
Photo of juicestam

Marshall Islands

5/5  rDev +8.5%

My first review... I traveled 12,000 miles for this beer - was it worth the journey? Or would it leave me wondering why I ever left my tropical paradise?

A - Poured into a Westvleteren chalice. Beautifully dark brown, with a thick creamy white head. Perfect.

S - Earthy and spicy. Somehow stronger, more complex, yet more delicate than anything I've tried.

T - Absolutely amazing! Spicy, some banana and dark fruit. Alcohol just comes though to remind me it's there. Somewhat similar to St. Bernardus, but deeper and more refined.

M - Silky and creamy. It's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's invited. Excellent.

D - I could drink this forever - or at least until I pass out. I get ready to order another, but then I remember that I've already sampled the Blonde and the 8, and I've got a 2 mile bike ride ahead of me. Better stop while I'm ahead.

Easily the best beer I've had. Yes, there's a degree of mystique added given that it's also so rare. But seriously - try it!

06-13-2009 10:49:41 | More by juicestam
Photo of HopBacchus


4.83/5  rDev +4.8%

One beer to rule them all
One beer to find them
One bring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
(not quite, but.... it was damn good)

I am in Belgium at my computer sipping as i rate this beer

A: The beer pours a ruddy brown color with a medium sized foamy head that dissipated more quickly than expected, mild lacing.

S: It smells well... like heaven. Absurd amounts of smoky rich malts and vanilla tingle the nostrils. One can detect spices and citrus; perhaps even molasses?

T: Wonderful, a perfect balance of yeast and overpowering malts engulf my taste buds caressing each section of my tongue. Hops levels are low and overpowered by the rich malts.

M: Average at best. Upon first sipping, it stung my tongue to the point where it almost overwhelmed the otherwise perfect flavor. Over carbonated i would say. However its body was perfect after the carbonation sting subsided. Felt like I was drinking some sort of evil IPA.

D: Minus the carbonation, amazing the malts and flavor are absolutely perfect this is a beer that would suit any meal or weather.

Overall this was an excellent beer. I can see why it is the best in the world. I personally would not give it such a grand title because of its less than steller lacing and mouth feel however this is truly a great beer that i found myself in awe of.

06-12-2009 17:03:03 | More by HopBacchus
Photo of kaseydad


4.47/5  rDev -3%

Thanks to NorCalYeti for sharing his bottle with me. Very excited to try the #1 ranked beer and am hoping it doesn't disappoint.

Poured into my Maudite snifter and am met with a caramel color, a thin layer of head and some major sediment.

An aroma of burnt toast, bourbon and some dark fruits seem to be the major smells.

The taste is smooth and silky though the alcohol seems to be easily identifiable and somewhat distracting. As the beer warms, the intensity of the liquor qualities increases.

Overall I was very happy to try this beer, but I really wanted to be blown away but unfortunately I wasn't. I would still drink this in a heartbeat but the price of a bottle just wasn't worth it to me.

06-12-2009 02:59:06 | More by kaseydad
Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) from Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren)
100 out of 100 based on 4,607 ratings.